Warrior Dash Event Review

What can I say, after doing an obstacle course earlier in the year, I was hooked… and when a friend asked me to do this one with her, I was all over it. I love the challenges and the chance to play in the mud. And… what a day it was!

It started with absolutely perfect weather, low 70’s by start time and sunny. Here in the desert, that was great!! From the start this was well organized, the signage, parking, etc. On a side note, I had finally stopped being lazy and changed my name to my married name legally, a quick email to Warrior Dash and that was all updated for my bib and packet. That was great. Once at the event, the organization continued… where to head for packets, etc… all organized. They started pumping you up at the start, and we were in the first wave… they were all amped, and that got the crowd into it! So much fun!!

So… we started. A friend of mine had a hurt back, and was walking the event, and doing some of the obstacles. Our group all hung out together, as for us, it wasn’t a matter of what our time would be, but to hang out together and have fun. This event had some great hills to climb and man did my glutes feel it by the end, so thanks Warrior Dash for that workout 🙂 Our first obstacle was a pretty easy one to get through. Our second obstacle, the barbed wire maze was “down for repairs” we were bummed, but, safety first!! Other than the one I couldn’t do… I completed every obstacle, testing my balance, ability to climb, and flexibility. We trudged through some thick goo, more water and crawled over tires.


As we came through the last muddy water obstacle, and saw the fires to jump… we were BEYOND excited! We had finished… and with smiles on our faces, leaped the flames! Then, turned the corner to find the mudpit, lol. But, swimming/crawling through that and under barbed wire was too much fun and we giggled our way through it. Then… as Kristin and I climbed out, our one friend who avoided the mud was waiting for us… we smothered her with muddy hugs! I cannot wait to see that picture!!

Then…. we stood in a fast moving line to get hosed off… and grabbed our free beer and posed for pics with our well-earned medals and Viking helmets.

I cannot wait to do this event again. The obstacles were challenging but not impossible, staff/volunteers were amazing, friendly and helpful. The terrain was great trail area and very scenic. The entire event had a great fun loving atmosphere making you want to stay all day, or even go again! I will post more pics when their official pics are released…. since the goal was to have fun… I made sure to have fun when the cameras were there!

Thank you Warrior Dash for hosting a great, organized and fun event here in Las Vegas!! When are you coming back??

Are Your Goals SMART Goals?

Goals… we all set them, some we achieve, some we do not. Some we borrow from others, without much thought, some we borrow the idea, but make it our own. We at times really beat ourselves up when we fail to reach our goals. Is it us and our inabilities? Maybe not. 
How we set our goals is more important than what our goal is. As some of you know, my day job is in community and public health. In this field, goal setting is a very important task, it helps get or fail to get funding, depending on how the goals are laid out. 
The acronym SMART is used in goal setting. In order to make the goals achievable, they need to be SMART:  
Specific: straightforward and state what you want to have happen, the What, Why, and HOW, i.e. lose ten pounds through exercise and eating healthy
Measurable: concrete criteria for measuring progress of the goal: the 10 lbs, or 1.5 lbs per week, etc.
Attainable: Make sure the goal is one that will stretch you slightly and make you work for it, so that you have a sense of accomplishment, but make sure it is still attainable. Losing 10 lbs in 1 week is most likely not attainable and when you fail to reach the goal, you will feel disappointed and frustrated. Setting the goal to lose 10 lbs in 2 months is attainable at just over 1 lb a week, which is more along the healthy weight loss range.
Realistic: Make sure the goal is something you can do and want to do. Often times people decide to give up something, in so doing, that complete restriction, causes frustration and sometimes, failure. Saying ‘I will never eat chocolate again’ when you truly enjoy chocolate is not realistic. Setting a goal to eat 2 pieces of fruit a day may be more realistic for you. Another example is setting a goal of working out seven days a week when you have a very hectic and busy schedule that makes this goal difficult, perhaps, if you already work out 3 days setting a goal to increase your workouts to 4 or 5 days is realistic.
Timely: set the time-frame for the goal and make sure it is measurable, attainable and realistic.
These five components can make or break your goal success and as you can see, all interconnect.
Often goals are set as: I will lose X lbs. sometimes this is stated as: I will lose 50 lbs in 5 months. Well, that is specific and measurable, but perhaps attempting to lose 10 lbs a month is not realistic or attainable, so if you only lose 5 in the first month, you are behind the 8ball in reaching this goal.
Setting a goal, and laying out the plan (these steps are sometimes called objectives) helps you determine if the goal is one that is SMART and one you can succeed at. Who wants to continuously set goals and fail?
Setting goals like: I will lose 15 lbs in 3 months, is SMART. The details, measures, and time are there, 5 lbs a month is a realistic, healthy and attainable goal. Another example: I will hold a plank for 2 minutes within 9 weeks, gradually increasing my time by 10 seconds per week from 30 seconds at the start. 
Setting goals of running a race, losing weight, etc. without the SMART components leaves the goal up in the air and easy to abandon. Without knowing what you are specifically working towards, and making sure it is attainable will keep you motivated and focused on the goal(s) at hand. The same goes for “borrowing” other people’s goals without reviewing the goal to see if it is SMART for YOU! Remember, you and that person are 2 different people physically, mentally, socially, fitness levels, etc. they may be able to achieve the goal, or achieve it earlier than you. Be inspired by others and their goals, but remember to make the goal your own! 
So… looking at your goals, are they SMART goals? Share some of your SMART goals with me, I’d love to hear them!

A Healthier Pancake

I love pancakes… and have been playing around to get one that is healthier and tasty…. here is what I have come up with so far:

8 oz greek yogurt
8 T of oat flour (add up to 2 more if too wet)
2 T ground flaxseed
¼ C oats
1 T stevia
1 t baking powder
2 egg whites
1 t vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
For a Fall twist, I added in some pumpkin:
Added in: 1/3 c pumpkin, 1 t pumpkin pie spice
Depending on the size of the pancakes you can get 4-6 servings from them. 

Week 5 Update

Another week, another update on my 90 Day Contract. All in all it was a better week for me. As I was getting ready to write this blog I realized I have only given updates on whether or not I exercised and lost weight. Well, I reviewed my 90 Day Contract one month in and realized I haven’t been updating you on everything else. Yes, I blog about running and fitness, yes, I am an ambassador for a healthy and active lifestyle. But… that is not all that I am. 
I made that contract for myself, to help me focus on becoming healthier, and not just physically. I wanted to focus on my mental and emotional wellbeing, my relationships and my physical health. We often get caught up in one facet of our lives or someone’s life, we forget the big picture. Or maybe we choose to not see it. I’m not sure. So, I apologize now for only giving you a portion of the updates. Let’s fix that now. 
I set Healthy Eating Goals: I am easily meeting my 6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. I am happy to report my body craves them. My meats and proteins are healthy and going well, even with the nut butter recalls. I am still working on cutting down my grains intake, I love carbs… what can I say, it’s one of the reasons I became a runner! I have drastically cut down on fried foods, and the last time I ordered them, didn’t even finish my meal. This is progress, normally I would devour fries, and then some. I continue to plan in advance, which helps me with lunch options, I eat healthy 80% of the time and try new recipes often. (I should post these suckers!) and am doing really well. I honestly feel that I am in a healthy place with my eating and relationships with food. I 99% of the time don’t eat out of boredom, don’t graze, and think things through before I shove it in my mouth. I haven’t tried green smoothies yet, they scare me a little, I won’t lie. 
I also set Self Care Goals: I have been taking one day off a week, and sometimes two. This weekend my body overruled my mind, and I slept, a lot. I am on top of my school work and my grades are great. I am also focused and doing well with my SGK volunteering. I read nightly, and not a textbook. Not timeless literature either, but that is okay, I clear my mind every night. I vary in times I get to the gym. I am using them right now more for spin and yoga classes. I spend time with friends and with my husband. We have seen the DaVinci exhibit and Wicked! Most of the time we eat out less and I do weight myself weekly and take my measurements. I have failed in the savings account goal, but, my explanation (excuse) is that we bought a house in August, so spare money is going to paint, or other things for the house. I am also working on my career goals. I am going to be doing a presentation in early 2013 on connecting your business/program with social media. 
So… there it is, progress on things other than days I exercised and if I lost weight. But… for those that need to know: I lost 1.5 lbs and worked out 4 times last week. Hey… I’m not perfect. 🙂

Oh… and here is a pic of Mia and I chilling in my giant reading nook we just painted! 
 Seriously, if I laid down and stretched, my toes and fingers wouldn’t touch the walls. This thing is huge. Anyone have extra pillows for it?
Have a great week everyone! I have my normal week of work, school work, exercise… mom is visiting Fri-Mon, and Saturday is the Dragonboat Regatta!!!

Wk 4 Update: Hitting the Restart Button

Sorry I am a little late on this update. To say last week was hectic, would be an understatement. It was a stressful week for me, and well, I struggled with my goals. Big time.

A general review of my week: I had a day of travel Monday, consisting of 14+ hours away from the house, dr appts Tuesday, and a less than stellar day at work. Wednesday was an okay day, but had a meeting for my volunteer work and did school work, Thursday is always hectic with class and group projects. I was home sick Friday with a migraine. As you saw, Tuesday I at least got to spend time with a good friend enjoying wine and pasta! YAY!!

 (this stuff was pretty tasty for a red blend)

I worked out once. Once. Not that I didn’t think about it, but most of the week, it took all the energy I had to stay upright, let alone be physically active. I probably could have gone after work Tuesday, but after the day I had even outside of work (horrible customer service at Dr and bank), I was afraid I would hurt someone or myself if I went near the general public. Yes, it was that kind of day.I did walk the dogs a few days, but I don’t count that in my exercise totals.

So, the workout I had, was Saturday morning when I went to spin class. To punish myself  make up for not working out, I set the resistance high, stayed out of the saddle often, and really pushed myself. To make matters worse, constantly being on the go, I struggled to track what I was eating. I kept myself in check, not pigging out, not eating unhealthy foods… but wasn’t really sure where my calorie intake was each day. That also stressed me out.

I thought I was pretty good at handling stress… but this week was a real challenge for me. I didn’t eat the best, didn’t really measure portions, ate out often due to travel and meetings, and didn’t get my exercise in. Literally, by Friday I felt like I really let myself down on my goals. Although I didn’t appreciate the headache, Friday was helpful for me (well, other than biostatistics homework). We sent the dogs to the vet for grooming and vaccines, and I relaxed, tortured my head with stats, and relaxed. We then got the dogs, and had a quiet evening in. I felt more rested and together. I didn’t go for a run, a walk, or to the gym. Could I have, yes. But, I needed to just sit still and let my body recover and let my mind heal. I really did a number on myself mentally when I wasn’t exercising, my stress level was through the roof, and I wasn’t eating the way I normally do. I had to apologize to myself for the negative talk and re-motivate myself to keep going.

I did have a fun weekend, attended the Susan G. Komen of Southern NV Survivor Luncheon and Fashion Show, then Bite of LV (Matchbox Twenty is still good), and lounged with the dogs ALL day Sunday, then went to see my brother when he got in to town and had some martinis and laughter. Perfect! However… the late night didn’t help my start of this week. Monday, I was just tired all day, so finished a paper for class. Tonight… going to see Wicked! and then, I promise, back on the exercise path! Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat. I promise!!!!

My measurements…. well, that is the not bad news! I maintained. I am not going to write them all out, but everything, EVERYTHING stayed the same. Whew!! At least I didn’t go in reverse there!! What I need to do, is have a better plan of attack for when week’s like this happen. Because they will. I am stronger and better than a bad week. So, here is this week’s goals:
Run Wed AM, Spin Wed PM, Thurs: Spin, Yoga, Fri: Run, Core, Yoga. Sat: breast cancer walk, a workout later, Sunday: a long run.

Until next time…. keep smiling!